More grain per train: Victorian upgrade

The Geelong grain loop is set for a $5.6 million upgrade to allow 30 percent more grain per train

More grain per train: Victorian upgrade
More grain per train: Victorian upgrade

26, 2012

The Geelong grain loop is set for a $5.6 million upgrade to allow 30 percent more grain per train, according to the Victorian Government.

Announcing the upgrade late last week, Victorian Ports Minister Denis Napthine says the project will increase axle load at the Port of Geelong grain loop from 19 to 23 tonnes,
allowing more grain to be delivered from rail to port and
reducing the number of trucks on the road.

"The Port of Geelong has posted two consecutive years of record trade and current projections show a strong resurgence for the grain trade," Napthine says.

The Victorian Government, GrainCorp and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) have agreed to jointly fund the project.

The Victorian Government will provide $3.78 million toward the project, which Napthine says will ensure regional producers have access to an efficient port and freight system to grow their markets and export products.

The announcement coincides with the release of the Victorian Government’s response to the Grain Logistics Taskforce Report, which recommends extensive grain supply chain improvements.

"The upgrade of the Geelong grain loop and associated works to improve access to the Loop is an immediate priority which is now being actioned in conjunction with the grain industry, V/Line and the Australian Rail Track Corporation," the government’s response says.

The Grain Logistics Taskforce was established in 2011 as a mechanism for industry and government cooperation.

In response to the taskforce report the Victorian Government says it supports:

  • The reopening of the Dimboola-Rainbow railway line
  • Work by the Department of Transport and Regional Rail Link Authority to facilitate alternative freight train operating arrangements during the construction of the Regional Rail Link
  • Investigating the standardisation of key lines where there are likely to be net economic benefits from gauge conversion
  • Increasing axle loading to 21 tonnes for the Benalla to Oaklands, Murtoa to Hopetoun and Dimboola to Rainbow rail lines
  • Improving train turnaround times in the port precinct as well as train stabling facilities
  • Increasing Transport companies’ use of the Performance Based Standards scheme to improve the efficiency of road transport, and road managers approve these vehicles where the route is capable of accommodating them
  • Identifying important differences in truck weight regulations and where possible harmonise, similar to the process used in the Green Triangle region of Victoria and South Australia in order to improve road freight efficiency
  • Giving further consideration to implementing a Grain Harvest Management Scheme which would assist industry to comply with mass limit regulations in the cartage of grain off farms into receival silos
  • Industry adopting improved truck scheduling and notification systems into ports to reduce truck queuing and improve truck throughput
  • The campaign by local governments for continuation of the Federal Government’s Roads to Recovery program for funding of local roads beyond 2014
  • Recommendations of the Federal Export Certification Reform process which will enable industry employed AQIS Authorised Officers to undertake inspections of grain ships at anchor
  • Industry reviewing and improving its ship chartering processes to reduce the incidence of ships failing survey
  • Maintaining The Grain Logistics Taskforce as a forum to review harvest management plans and consider improvements in grain supply chain efficiencies in Victoria
  • Reviewing training and competency assessment criteria for train and truck drivers to determine if they can be streamlined, without affecting safety, to assist in addressing train and truck driver shortages.

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